Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Praising older women - and younger men - and older men - and....you get the picture

Having stayed up late to get all preparations ready for the meeting, I was rewriting by 8 this morning. I knew I would, I always rewrite, but you have to do the writing first to be able to see what could be improved. Meeting was cheerful and lunch afterwards was jolly. Ladies in their 70s were complaining that men in their 80s only want them for their potential nursing qualities, which I agreed was a complete bummer and have recommended non-commital relationships with younger men. Men are absolutely adorable but quite a lot of work, which an independent woman can't necessarily be doing with.

I drove a darling friend home afterwards; I haven't known her very long, less than a year, but I absolutely love her. She is funny and upbeat and stalwart - she's actually very ill but shrugs it off and enjoys life regardless. She fell badly the other day and her son scolded her for wearing high heels when she is so frail. She said 'pfft' and sent him on his way, but admitted that he is absolutely right, her heel caught on something and down she went and she says she's rainbow-hued all down one side. Her husband was ill earlier in the year; when he returned from hospital he was quite emotional; he said that he thought she would not be able to look after him and have to put him in an old peoples' home. She and I both nearly cried too at that. They are a pair of beautiful cracked pieces of porcelain, who are happy as long as they have each other and they make the most of every day.

Many of my friends are older than I am, some by thirty or more years, and they are so wonderful. Most of them have been through some degree of hell but they don't let themselves dwell on that and just get on with living.

17 comments:

Wendz in France said...

I do sometimes wonder...if I make it to 70 or 80, how will I be...happy, sad, tired of living, alone, with a lovely hubby (I do hope so), a full active life...or living in a cardboard box under a bridge, waiting for death. It scares me so I don't think too much about it.

Z said...

I know what you mean, Wendz. For a long time I couldn't contemplate the future at all, far too scary. Now I can and hope I can take whatever comes with grace. It'll take you a while to get there, but you will. For now, a good day is one to be glad of, a bad day will pass and be finished with.

jen said...

it really does come down to trying to live in the moment (with minimal and necessary planning for the future) in the hopes that it'll all turn out ok - and it's a crapshoot anyways.

i am with you - and try to be grateful for the good in today.

laurel said...

exactly z ! :) There is nothing else for a bad time but to keep on living...and if one can manage it with some panache and a smile, so much the better...
My son, who is now 22 absolutely loves older people, and every last one in the neighborhood knows who he is and all about his life and vice versa...gives a mother hope...hoping that he is asorbing kindness and wisdom...

martina said...

I know a couple in their 90s, married 70 years-positively delightful and they still love and care deeply for each other. Two beautiful pieces of cracked porcelain-beautiful description.

The Boy said...

I'm quite looking forward to getting older. Being able to embaress my adult children, indugling their children, going about being properly eccentric rather than only mildly so. I intend it to be quite a bit of fun.

badgerdaddy said...

Every so often you write a post that gets me right where I live, as they say. Great post. Thankyou.

Z said...

A friend of mine said that her late mother (she died of cancer in her 60s) used to say "Hope for the best, expect the worst, and take life as it comes."

Thanks, darlings. We're going to have a great time together - I'll be old first, so I'll be the awful example you all have to live down to.

Wendz in France said...

Well then....Please remember to post photos of yourself in your red feather boa and purple velvet hat....I want to see if it's a look I could carry off at 70.

Z said...

When I reach 70, I will ......what are you saying, peach, that Z at 53 equates with W at 70?

Hmm. Probably true.

How do we know said...

You know what i wanted to post yday in a severe fit of depression? that its not easy to start with being old.. how do you deal with the fact that you are getting frailer by the day, when all your life, the opposite has happened to you? Your post just answered that nasty thought! :-)

This is quite a coincidence!

Z said...

My darling, it is not easy to start with. You must accept yourself, wrinkles, aches and all, and you must love yourself, and others, as you and they are. And then, remember that being happy really beats being miserable and resentful and makes life easier to deal with.

I used to be afraid of aging, now I'm not (well, not right now, I reserve the right to change my mind). It's not an effect of my age, it's another change in me; I was depressed (not unhappy) and have recovered now - not with pills or counseling, but with time.

Give yourself time, think about why you are depressed, do something about it if you can and if you can't as yet, better times will come.

Er, don't tell me you are starting to think about being old? You could be my daughter!!!
*goes to look up information about stairlifts and old people's homes*

Wendz in France said...

Ha ha ha - no no no..I didn't mean you must post the photos now ..I meant when you reach 70 and are being eccentric..I plan to be truly over the top..but need to check the look first...you can be my guinea pig, so to speak.

How do we know said...

thanks Zoe! Well, actually I was thinking of getting old.. am nearly 30 and the ageing has started, just so slightly..:-)

Z said...

Well, I'm glad none of us is considered to be actually over the hill yet. I was getting a bit worried there.

pat said...

One prays that we can struggle on together on our own home and it would be great to go together.

Z said...

The two of you have to keep going for years yet, Pat, you've still got a good fifty years to tell us about.